The question in the headline is the subject of an article in TTELA today. They speak to two analysts about the brand issue and naturally, the two analysts have conflicting opinions.
Bengt Håkansson is a branding expert and president of the Company Brand Clinic.
– I actually think this has strengthened Saab. It’s like a David and Goliath story, or one of those movies where an American football team successfully turn a 47-0-underdog to win….
….He thinks that the marketing is trying to do in the past year which emphasizes a return to roots and the Swedish Saab unit is important.
– One can not make the cars they used to, but take advantage of the values that are there.
Something he points out that GM failed……
– I had a GM director on a course I had and I asked how the typical Saab customer looked like and what values were, but his manager could not give a good answer.
– I have friends who drive Saab that refuses to test drive other cars. There really is something to seize.
That’s the positive side of the argument.
Now to Googlywoogly the negative:
– I know of no other brand that is so linked to emotional values as Saab. Audi, BMW and Mercedes have been more logical values.
But he believes that the whole situation now to be the killing shot and descriptions of a hopeless situation has damaged the brand.
– There is an uncertainty for those who want to buy the cars and we have pointed out that GM has eroded the mark.
So it’s the David argument vs the damaged brand.
From my own perspective, I feel as if the brand is stronger than ever. But that’s a somewhat emotional response. Like you, I’ve been right in the thick of the fight and the fact that Saab have come out alive leads to a very emotional high.
Take yourself out of the situation, though, and the negative perception of Saab being dead or damaged does have some traction – and this is what Saab are going to have to overcome.